Pathology Trends

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Pathology groups face a number of challenging pathology trends in the era of radical healthcare reform.

One of the primary trends is that like clinical laboratories, these businesses are carrying significant and potentially unsustainable levels of unreimbursed services. Although bad debt and uncompensated care in the healthcare industry are not new, they have been increasing at the same time that downward pressure is being applied to pathology reimbursement.

Medical laboratories and pathology groups are also facing enormous levels of change in their clinical, regulatory and financial environments. As the Affordable Care Act is implemented, laboratories see downward pressure on reimbursement at both the federal and payer level, coupled with increased emphasis on efficiency and quality.

Labs and health care providers need to seriously consider moving toward a retail business model. Changes in the health insurance market are now requiring patients to pay more out of pocket, and the perfect storm of bad debt and decreased requirement is pressuring laboratories.

Other pathology trends include:

  • Growing emphasis on the continuum of care
  • Increasing patient interaction directly with the lab organization
  • Mounting demands of interoperability across a proliferation of disparate information technology systems to achieve meaningful use
  • Evolving requirements for communication and data sharing with payers, accountable care organizations (ACOs), health information exchanges (HIEs) and other trading partners
  • Industry observers say that responding to each of these trends requires access to the most complete set of patient data possible. Accurate patient identification and record consolidation is central to achieving these goals.

    In addition, labs and pathologists are increasingly urged to add value to the testing services they perform by leveraging information technology. For instance, advanced health information technology can be deployed within clinical labs and pathology groups specifically to meet changing patient expectations, while supporting the needs of client physicians for optimal workflow.

Patient Care Focus Helps Path Group Win Contract

CEO SUMMARY: When Ascension Wisconsin wanted one pathology group to serve its needs statewide, North Shore Pathologists responded to the request for proposal by focusing on how pathologists can improve patient care through a patient-centered model. Other pathology groups responded with proposals that emphasized the financial aspects of the relationship. Focusing on patient care won

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UK’s NHS to Build Five New Digital Path and Imaging Centers

TO SHORTEN THE TIME FOR CANCER DIAGNOSES, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) will open five new digital pathology and imaging centers that will use artificial intelligence. The digital pathology and imaging centers will open in Coventry, Glasgow, Leeds, London, and Oxford.

Last month, the UK government announced that it will invest £50 million ($68.9

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Pathology Groups Should Act Now to Define Value

CEO SUMMARY: Payers and health system administrators generally agree that healthcare is moving away from fee-for-service toward value-based payment. Because adoption of value-based contracts is slower for pathologists than for other providers, pathologists have the opportunity to define how provider systems can pay for value contributed by pathologists. However, to take advantage of this opportunity,

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Despite Tough Anatomic Pathology Market, Bostwick Opens New Laboratory

CEO SUMMARY: Once again, entrepreneur and pathologist David G. Bostwick, MD, is starting up a new lab company. Granger Diagnostics is now open and is located in North Chesterfield, Virginia. It is designed to be an anatomic, clinical, and molecular pathology reference laboratory. In an exclusive interview, Bostwick identified three substantial changes that have happened

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